January 2016, Sponsored Post

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores + Giftcard Giveaway

Hi friends! Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. And soon after that, you’ll want to look your best for springtime holidays (Easter is March 27) and get ready for gift giving for moms, dads and grads in May. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is an ideal place to shop for all of your springtime needs, from leather handbags and strappy sandals to workout gear, swimwear and that perfect, all-occasion dress.

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That’s why I plan to head to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where shopping is hassle-free and you can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more). Plus, there’s easy store front parking, so getting in and out quickly is a breeze!

Today, I’m excited to share with you a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the mall, where you can select merchandise where you can find deals at their designer and name-brand outlet stores, including their new Express and eSunWear Swimwear Outlet, newly-expanded Ann Taylor LOFT, plus other well-known outlets including U.S. Polo Assn., Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh, Tommy Hilfiger Stores, G by GUESS, Justice, Carter’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Levi’s®, Aeropostale, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Rack Room Shoes, and many more. Several stores sell approved uniform merchandise. (Sorry, Gap and Old Navy outlets do not accept gift certificates). Don’t forget to stop by and treat yourself at Lindt Chocolate, too!

Calvin Klein at LBVFS
Photo Credit: LBVFS

Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as visiting http://www.lbvfs.com. Many stores offer last-minute deals so it’s a great idea to follow the center and check online frequently! Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535) Orlando, FL 32821-6316, two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Open daily. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday.


Ok, friends…I promised you a giveaway & here are the details:

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is providing a sweet $50 gift card to one lucky reader of this blog. Please note that this offer is only valid for one winner, one time, through 2016.

Winner must pick up gift certificate in the mall office any week day between 10am-5pm. Please be prepared to show a photo ID. Please note that gift certificates MUST be picked up between Feb. 10-March 10, 2016.  Gift certificates are unable to be mailed, sorry.

Contest runs today, January 28th through Tuesday, February 2nd at 8:00 am, EST. Winner will be chosen at random and will notified by reply to comments in this post. Winner must respond back to me within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited & another winner will be chosen at random.


1. “Like” this post

2. If you do not already, please subscribe to follow this blog. Enter your email address on the “Follow Us” link on the left-hand side-bar of this page.

3. In the comments below, share your preferred holiday shopping strategy. For example, are you a plan ahead type, or do you like to do it all last minute? …Or, maybe a little of both? 🙂

NOTE: One entry per subscribed email address, please.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right?!?!

Photo Credit: LBVFS
Photo Credit: LBVFS


Good luck & Happy Shopping!

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January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Legendary Circus Fun

Recently, we headed downtown to the Amway Center for an afternoon of family fun! If you’re familiar with the Amway Center, then you know it’s home to the Orlando Magic….they have a cool name display outside the arena, and we had some fun with the letter ‘M’ (of course!).

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We had a great time checking out the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS show. It really was a dazzling performance for both Stephen & I to watch and also to enjoy through Liam’s wide-eyed amazement 🙂

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One of the things that I personally love about the circus is all the colors, and we were not disappointed. The entire show was filled with rich, vibrant colors. Absolutely stunning!

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These performances made us laugh, in true circus fashion….llamas, goats, dogs, & one amazing pig!

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The Asian Elephants are magnificent creatures and this was the last time we would be seeing them in the Ringling Bros. circus.

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Lions & Tigers….oh my!! Trainer — Alexander Lacey has great skill when it comes to working with both the elephants and these big cats. The lion was pretty feisty during the performance. I don’t know if it was part of the act, or not, but it was entertaining!

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Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson with another legend that Liam was enthralled to see come out …. unicorns!!!

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This was a cool stunt act by the Torres Family. They rode their motorcycles altogether in that metal sphere…..crazy!!

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EIGHT of them going round & round….

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This was Liam’s favorite part of the circus this year….the trapeze. This act was the Solar Hawks, and they were fantastic! Liam absolutely loved that there was a sort of gigantic trampoline to catch them. I think the whole thing reminded him of gymnastics (which he still loves) so it really had his attention.

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Just clowning around….

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS was definitely a show we will soon not forget. Going to the circus is a memory I have from my childhood, and I am so happy to now make these new memories with my boys ❤ …..They truly do put on The Greatest Show on Earth! I hope you had a chance to check our their show. If you have not, and they are still scheduled to come to your area, you can find their tour schedule here.

Until next time, friends!

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NOTE: I was invited by Feld Media to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS at the Amway Center in Orlando. No other compensation was given & all opinions above are my own.

January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Winter Break

Over the last few weeks, not only did we enjoy the Christmas & New Year holidays, but Liam & I also enjoyed some time off of school & work. I am fortunate to work for an amazing university that closes at the holidays so I pull little man out of daycare to hang out with me, too. We wish Daddy could pal around with us, but he’s got an important job to do …and at least, we had the weekends & after work to play 🙂

Liam had really enjoyed riding his new bike and getting used to this “big boy ride”. He was zooming around the sidewalk in no time.

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We hit up Sea World on Christmas weekend to check out their holiday decorations.  The park really looked festive! We spent a lot of time this season checking out Christmas decorations and lights at various venues, and just driving through local neighborhoods. So fun!! I think we found a new tradition that we’ll continue in years to come. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the time, we thought this was going to be our last visit before our annual passes expired, as well as Liam’s Preschool Pass….BUT, the park JUST announced this week that the Preschool Pass is returning for 2016 so we may be going back again. It’s such a great deal 🙂

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One of things we were most excited to see this visit was the holiday update to the Wild Artic ride — for Christmas, it becomes The Polar Express Experience! This is one of Liam’s most favorite Christmas movies, and he was over the moon to see this 🙂 …it was such a cool ride! You really felt like you were on the train & in the movie.

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Watching  a clip of the movie before we “boarded”….

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All smiles & ready to do it again….

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New Year’s week, my Orlando Mom’s Blog team gave us the awesome opportunity to hang out at the Science Center for the afternoon. We had let our annual passes lapse over the summer, so it had been almost 6 months since we last visited. It was so fun to see my team members from OMB, and we also hung out with Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra. Such a fun afternoon. I literally had to drag Liam out of there after FIVE hours! 🙂 …this mama was wore out!

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We were thrilled to see the new additions to the Nature Works exhibit. The fish tanks are beautiful, and the kiddos loved picking up the different star fish and examining them. What a great experience for sensory learning!

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New Year’s Day, we took little dude to the local carnival. He had been asking & asking to go, so we caved. This same one comes around at the holidays each year, and honestly, it was surprising that Stephen & I had never been to it, ourselves, in the past. It was super fun!

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Can you tell that Liam is used to me taking pictures? 🙂 …cheese!!

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quick selfie while little man was driving a tractor in the background…ha!

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these two….driving bumper cars!

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We met up with Aunt Heather & cousin, Sierra again…these kiddos love hanging out together. I can only imagine what this pic will look like in about 12 years from now…when they REALLY want to take the car for a drive together . Lord help us! 🙂

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baby teacups!

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Seriously, this Ferris Wheel was GINORMOUS!! …My people rode it. I did NOT. I was freaking out while they rode it. Too big & too high for me. Liam loved it (of course!).

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It was a fun & restful break from work & school. I was able to get some things done around the house that I needed to, and Liam enjoyed playing with his new Christmas presents. I do think he missed his friends from school, though, and the structure/routine that he’s used to. I know after a while we did 🙂 …haha!

Until next time, friends

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January 2016

New Year’s Resolution: The Year of Me!

Hi friends!

I’m sharing my most recent post with you today for Orlando Moms Blog. I hope you will check it out 🙂


You can link to the full article HERE


Sharing my New Year’s Resolution with you. I’m not one to make resolutions, but I think this is a pretty good one. While taking care of everyone else, I realized I had forgotten to take care of ME. Join in with me — let’s make 2016 the year we take back our worth & recognize our value!

Happy Reading!

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January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Happy New Year!!

2015 ~ Another year gone by….

As, we all too commonly hear as we grow older, the years seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. This one definitely did for us. As I look back on last year’s New Year’s post, I can’t believe how much Liam has changed. Scrolling back through the year’s pictures reminds me how much he is growing right before our eyes ❤

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Some highlights from 2015….

We revamped the blog with a new look back in June & that was actually our busiest day of the year for page views! Thanks for all the love for me & my boys this past year. I started this little blog a few years back as a fun hobby, but also with intentions to someday turn this into a series of keepsake books for my little man. Ultimately, that is why I do what I do. Keeping track of our memories for him 🙂


Liam turned 4 this year and started Pre-Kindergarten! Such a huge milestone. We celebrated his birthday with a wonderful splash park party with friends & family. Pre-K has been an amazing experience, thus far, and Stephen & I can’t believe how much he is learning so quickly. He can write his full name. All the letters of the alphabet and his numbers through ten by heart. He can count to 100. He knows all his colors. Just this last week, we learned he can spell numbers 1 through 10….I have to say we were blown away. I, mean, he’s 4! I don’t think either one of us were doing these things at 4. Times have definitely changed. We absolutely LOVE is Pre-K teacher, Mrs. Samar, and her assistant, Ms. Kaylee. Can’t wait to see what the 2nd half of Pre-K brings!


We made several home improvements this year. I really believe that more you do to your house makes it feel more like a home, and makes you feel more invested in it. At least, that is the way we feel about it! We put a new roof on in late spring. It looks awesome! We changed the color of the shingles in prep for painting the house, which will be coming in the next year or so. We re-modeled our master bathroom. We actually had some mold issues in the shower, so we were SO glad to have that resolved! The finished product was beyond words. We literally felt like we had a whole new room. I will have to post pics of this sometime. In late August, we had a water leak in our office / playroom.  Anyone that has been though this knows what a mess this whole process is, but eventually, we got things cleaned up and back on track. It allowed us to completely (I mean that literally) clean that room out and re-do it. We are still getting the finishing things put back in there, and I’ll have some pics up of that up soon.

Oh, and we canNOT forgot that we moved little dude out of his nursery gear and into his big boy room in late spring / early summer! That was a pretty big undertaking, as we completely changed out his room with new furniture, decor & paint, but it was such fun!


At the end of August, I celebrated my one-year anniversary for writing with Orlando Moms Blog. This is a great group of gals to be a part of, and I truly enjoy it. You can link over to my previous posts with them HERE.

I am proud that I was also featured in 4 issues of The Moms MagazineWinter 2015 / Spring 2015 / Summer 2015 / Back to School 2015


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A recap of our NYE 2015….

We rang in the New Year quietly at home, but that’s the way we like it. Little man helped me make some yummy chili in the morning that we had for dinner. We put on our party hats in the evening and headed out front to play with the rest of our fireworks left over from the 4th of July. Our neighbor had some big fireworks so that was pretty cool, as well! I caught this pic above as one of them went off.

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Looking ahead to 2016….

Liam will turn FIVE this year & begin KINDERGARTEN ….hold onto your seats, this mama is gonna lose it! 🙂


We have some more projects around the house we would like to do, so we shall see!


I’ve declared that we are going to start eating dinner at the kitchen table with NO electronic devices (imagine that, right?!?!). Overall, I want to put down our devices & just.be.more present. I can check things when Liam’s asleep or on my lunch breaks. I can rearrange to make better choices. I read this article in The Wall Street Journal & it really struck a cord. I don’t want my little one to grow up thinking he’s less important than me checking my phone / iPad or having an attitude because of it.


Not every part of every year is wonderful, but find the joy in each day. Focus on the positive. Don’t let negativity bring you down.

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Happy New Year!!
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